Posts Tagged With: family memories

Martha Stuart, I am not…

Well, another Christmas has come and gone at the Bahr household. Family members are returning home and the kids are playing with playdough and coloring in their new coloring books.  Even at 16 and 14, both girls still cannot resist the lure of new toys!

I know you’ve all so many stories to tell, pics to share and I can’t wait for them to start rolling into my reader. For now, I thought I’d share with you a few of my own.


My hubbie so wanted this Christmas to be special. He worked extra hard on decorating our scrawny home-grown Christmas tree we plucked from the yard. Delicate, like lace, the limbs could barely stand the weight of a simple ornament. Not to fear – he used some wire to support those tiny twigs. I told him he should’ve used a blankie – like Linus in Charlie Brown’s Christmas. He turned that pathetic tree into an amazing piece of glory with just a little love!

I was treated with a blank stare.

What? Geesh, I was just trying to be helpful…

He also wanted sugar cookies – the kind you roll out and cut into shapes. Grand and glorious plans that man had in mind. And so, ever the dutiful wife, I somewhat followed a recipe, stuck the dough in the fridge thinking it seemed a bit tough… Alas, something when terribly wrong and the whole caboodle ended up in the garbage.

I was treated with a  disappointed sigh.

What? I used a recipe! Kinda…

My kids know I make a tasty pie, if not a bit… well, un-uniformly. I run out of patience when it comes to crimping that silly edge and the top? Who cares if the basket weave is perfect and the lattice cut in equal lengths? They eat it anyways! And I tell them as such. Now they call them “Mom’s ugly pies…”

No photos – these things are just TOO ugly…


And don’t get me started on wrapping. I hate wrapping. For whatever reason, I end up doing the bulk of it. Ah, but payback came this year when I messed up and wrapped my hubbie’s and the girls socks together. Oops! And so, I embrace my hatred and wrap things as I feel like. Like this beauty – our nephew’s new fishing pole. See the reel?

Martha Stuart really has nothing to worry about. I won’t be replacing her any time soon.


For those of you who were alone this holiday – I felt a special connection. Here is the candle I lit just for you. I hope you found some joyful moments….



My love to all of you-


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My Second Life… Part Two

I suppose it was natural, this restless feeling. I’d been searching through family photos, compiling a genealogy of my father’s family all summer long and as much as I continued to enjoy working on my mighty Irish epic, other stories needed to be told.

I shuffled outside my  site, one that had grown more comfortable with each passing day. Look, I thought with joy, another follower, another comment! With each post, Down the Mountain Road took on life.

Darkness quickly enveloped me, but I wasn’t afraid; I’d already explored this process. Setting up a site was easy, it was bringing others to read that would be difficult. I chose this space with care, set up the theme to reflect a simpler time. These stories were personal – they’d reflect my family’s history in rural Vermont.

I shifted boxes around to form walls and moved in an old sideboard to hold some mismatched tea cups.  A large hooked rug – one worn from generations of use – would add comfort and cover the concrete floor. I brought in chairs – as many as could fit- in hopes that others would feel comfortable and would want to sit down and stay a while.

Then I got to work writing Letters to Rosa.

Each post flew from my keyboard, each one was published without fear. These were my stories, I lived them; I had to trust that they would be received in the spirit they were told –  sad at times and funny, but always with honesty to honor my family’s memories.

Imagine my delight when people started dropping by. A quick nod, a simple like, maybe a comment or two; I started noticing Rosa was attracting regulars and smiled. With each visitor, the space began to glow. A lovely comment touched me and added color – like a beautiful vignette I could hang on my wall. Another follower, one who would come back often, and I noticed a new mug sitting on the sideboard- ah, Teresa from bellybuttonblues had settled in! Each time I checked, I found mementos from other bloggers – a warm blanket from Liz at, a knitted shawl from Paulineknits in Ireland; a beeswax candle from Lynne at freepennypress and a cozy armchair from Eunice at livin and lovin.

Others would come and for each one, I’d cherish the visit. Denise at justasIam added a beautiful lamp and Ashi Akira, a wonderful Japanese poet, brought a stack of delightful verse.

Every one of you have added something special to Rosa – you’ve taken a place in an abandoned warehouse and helped me create a home and for that I am grateful.

So, please, pull up a chair – or add one of your own. Leave a comment, a quick “hello”. I’ll cherish the time we have, I promise.

And thanks for stopping by.


(I’d like to invite you to visit letters to Rosa – simply click on the lovely sepia photo on the sidebar. I’d love to hear from you!)

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a Vermont salutation…

This time of year there really is only one way to greet a fellow Vermonter. Four succinct words summarize the dominant thought, the driving force, the collective subconscious. Walk into any convenience store, hardware or otherwise; grocery store, whether large or small and you will, undoubtedly, catch this phrase more than once.

Git yur deer yet?

Every fall it becomes a substitute salutation. No longer will you hear, “Hi” or “How ya doin?”

So you won’t be tagged a flatlandah, why not be the first to offer up these words? Throw that old-timer off guard by being in the know. Show ’em you’ve been around these parts long enough to understand the Vermont vernacular, even if you don’t condone huntin and would never kill Bambi.

Impress ’em with your vast knowledge, even though you won’t be able to understand their response.

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seein as yur all he-ah…

Didn’t know this would become a blog to educate you flatlanders how to speak and understand the Vermont way. Ah, well, seein as yur all -he-ah…

Today marks a most sacred time in Vermont, a blessed season filled with hushed tones and the sound of buckshot being loaded in the basement. Today, deer huntin’ begins. Throughout homes, long before any have the right to be awake, kitchens are brightly lit, the smell of bacon’s wafting through the air and way, way too much plaid is being worn by men and women who’ve nothing more on their agenda then to stalk the woods in search of their elusive prey… the mighty white-tailed stag.

It’s a tradition that’s been passed down through the generations in my family. From father to son, each have their favorite places to hunt, all have stories about how they took the “big” one down. Most have mounted antlers hanging in their living rooms.

Or, as in my father’s case, his garage.

Dad? I said the last time I visited. What’s with this tiny rack?

Barely a spike horn and soooo pathetic.

That, he said with a sparkle in his eyes… that was my first deer. Got it when I was a kid.

Wow, it’s like an antique…

Okay then, what’s with these other not-so-large racks?

He pointed each one out with the patience of a saint and a man with a memory of a kid…

This one, Tudes, this I took with my bow up on Dole Hill. And this, he went on down the line, came from Bessie’s house five years back. Bessie got her deer then, too.

Bessie, Dad’s girlfriend. You know, the one who rides a motorcycle and can fly a plane?

Bessie still hunts? I had to ask. Her heart was weakened from some pain medicine years ago – one that’s since been recalled. Now, the merest exertion makes her struggle to breathe…

A’yup. She sits in her stand and I drive the deer toward her with the four-wheeler. His eyes were sad when he thought of that proud, independent woman needing help to take a damned deer.

A grey squirrel emerged from some brush nearby. I watched my dad watch that squirrel, then he turned to me with a wink.

You know, Tudes, squirrel season started last week. Little bastards, he added and his grin made me laugh.

So, whether or not you believe in the hunting process; whether you wish Bambi luck and all hunter’s a poor aim… I want to give a toast.

Here’s to my family – a clan of hunters; mighty warriors who roam the woods looking for a deer or at least a good story to tell. May you find that which you’re looking for, may your toes stay warm and your belly full.

May you git yur deah.

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A danged dog’s life…

Dogs have always been a cherished part of my family. In searching through old photos, I laugh when I find writing scrawled on the back, listing not the human’s name, but the dog’s.

Gramp Ferry had a dog. Used it to hunt rattlers in Arizona. His name was “Tootsy.” What a sweet name for a snake killer.

Gramp Blaine had a dog, don’t know his name, but how about something like “King” or “Brutus?”

Okay, I know he was short, but this dog is also enormous…

Now, we have two dogs, Bella and Maggie. Bella came into our life late – we adopted her when she was nine. With our old girl, Maggie (she’s ten), our family’s complete. You couldn’t get two more opposite creatures. When I look at Bella, I can tell she’s thinking, “love” as in, “I love you, I love to eat, I love to play soccer. Would you love to play soccer with me?”

And when I look at Maggie I hear, “You want me to do what with what? There better be a biscuit involved, because if there’s not you can count me out. And that stick? Go fetch it yourself. I’ve better things to do.”

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of Harvest Market and corn hats…

Fall is a time for work, to harvest, stack wood and prepare for the brutal winter that’s soon to arrive. It is also a time to celebrate.

My small town is transformed every last weekend of September into a glorious mess. Traffic slows, people converge from nearby towns and states… and they walk. Booths line the streets, vendors sell their treasures, cookies and milk, and memories. I could find more words to convey the glory that is Harvest Market, but I’ve decided to let my photos do the talking.

Hope you enjoy and wish you were here.

our normally quiet road is transformed into chaos…
even a rainy day won’t keep treasure seekers away…
my youngest working the lemonade stand. And yes, they still did a brisk business, maybe just not as much as the soup tent…
me and a rattle snake skin. Me and snakes, a true love affair…
my oldest and her dad. She just loves corn…
See? Here she is… rocking the corn hat! (photo credit: Olivia Roupe. wish I could take kudos for this fine image, alas, I cannot)
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trouble in wordpressville…

Frustrated. I’m frustrated with wordpress and I’m gonna have to vent.

I’ve had some wonderful visitors to this and my other blog, letterstorosa, blogs that I want to leave a comment or even simply say I liked something to let them know I came by – blogs that will not let me.

I spent time today reading other wordpresser’s complaints about the very same issue. When I try to leave a comment, it asks me to log in… I log in and it won’t take my comment.

I have to believe there are others who’ve had the same problem with my blogs.

To that end, I want to let the following bloggers know that yes, I have visited, I do like your wonderful posts. Yes, I think what you’re doing is amazing. If you’ve liked one of my posts, I’ve sought you out. If you commented, I’ve tried to do the same. If you don’t see me, please know I was there.

If you’ve tried to comment on one of my posts and could not, I would like to suggest that you facebook me at There, you can comment away and hopefully, I can respond.

If you’re following one of my blogs, please know I check your site often, some every day. Imagine how frustrated I am that I can’t follow you! Imagine, the loss I feel when I get excited and the words are just bursting to come forth … and I can’t post a comment.

So for now, if you’re visiting, please note I will seek you out and I would encourage you to check out these other sites… and if you’re able to leave a comment, great. Tell ’em Sue says hi.

lexisnana at: (it kills me that you’ve visited and commented so often and I can do nothing but reply on my own blog!) Here you’ll find lovely posts about grandkids and family memories…

a new visitor highlighting an Irish comic book artist: (and please check out my reply to the comment you left!)– Patrick Latter, a Canadian photographer of extraordinary talent. You’ve seen his Gravatar he’s the dashing lad with the tie…– a great writer, her blog name says it all. She is one cool cat…– a recent visitor, a writer with a conscious…

And to all the regular visitors and I have this to say.

Thanks for dropping by. You made my day.


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Casey’s Hill

Sometimes, the obvious is right in front of your eyes. You pass by the sign everyday and never stop to wonder. “Irish Settlement Road.” Were they Irish that lived there? The answer, in this case, would be yes.

And Irish, too, would be Casey’s Hill.

A few years ago, my small town was offered to buy the local sliding hill and the adjoining field. We voters, smart Vermonters that we are, said yes and kept it from being developed into housing. And now, kids have a magnificent hill to tempt fate and get their ya-ya’s out come winter.

Casey’s is a beautiful slope with a million dollar view. Mt. Mansfield, the tallest peak in Vermont hovers just behind and gives you a winter’s tale. Sometimes, it looks frigid and you just know, bitter winds are whipping the snow around, gusting to hurricane force. In the summer you can see people hiking the exposed ridge of Mansfield. Good binoculars and a clear day are all you need to watch people moseying along the nose, the chin the forehead. You can’t see profile on Mansfield from this side. Got to go over the other side of Pleasant Valley Road and then it appears.

But I digress.

This small slope is home to all manners of dare-devils, young and old alike. Not supposed to build jumps, but some just cannot resist. It’s quiet now, with fall approaching. The mowers haven’t made their final cut – they wait as long as possible thanks to my daughter who informed the town that it shelters the final hatch of monarch butterflies in the milkweed patch at the hill’s base. These are the travelers, the strongest butterflies that will migrate over 2,000 miles to Mexico.

But winter’s coming and we all know- gotta get the sleds unburied from the shed and polish up the skis. All you need is a few good inches of the white stuff. Think it’s too early? We had a foot and a half day before Halloween a few years past…

So, here’s to Casey, our Irish sledding hill – a wonderful spot to while away short cold days and fight long winter blues.

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Blaine, dammit

Well, went to Northfield last weekend and found my gram’s marker and her parents, Rosa and Henry. Knew it’d be Blaine not Blair, but hoped they hadn’t continued the lie into death.

Guess I was wrong.

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